Posted by Ann Sorvari on Sep 27, 2020

The Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough, the international partner in a Rotary Global Grant called "Healthy Children, Happy Nation," initiated by the Rotary Club of Pune Pristine in Pune, India, is thrilled to announce that the first of 50 planned child heart surgeries has been successfully completed.


Since its beginning in1905, Rotary International has shown a willingness to take on even the biggest problems, in its mission to do good in the world. In 2019, the Pune Pristine club decided to turn its attention to the leading cause of mortality in India: cardiovascular disease.
Particularly concerning was the high rate of disease in children, and especially those from poor areas, so these factors became the focus of the Global Grant. With contributions totaling $61,000 from Rotary District 3131 in India, our own District 7910 as well as District 7430 in the U.S., and the World Fund, the final Global Grant approval arrived this March. 
The first surgery, like so much else since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, had to wait a few months. This September 24, though, it took place at the Jupiter Hospital in Pune.
As Rotarians, we can all rejoice at the different life this beautiful child, and 50 others, will be able to live. As an Acton-Boxborough member, I can take pride in my club’s willingness to take action. And, as a mother whose son was born with a heart defect, successfully operated on when he was three, I know the joy those 50 families will feel.
Thanks are due to many for shepherding this project to this wonderful milestone, most especially: Sudin Apte, who as President of Pune Pristine club initiated the project; Sanjay Deshpande, then District 7910 Foundation chair, who brought it to  Acton-Boxborough’s attention; Palma Cicchetti from Acton-Boxborough club, who as International Projects chair managed the global grant-application process; Acton-Boxborough global grant team members Ann Sorvari, Vivian Birchall, Charles Summers and Humsha Naidoo, who contributed their expertise; Dr. M.S. Viji, MD, of International "We Serve" Foundation, for the final piece of funding; and finally all the members of contributing clubs, who believe in the power of Rotary and act to make great things happen.
For more information, contact the author, Acton-Boxborough Past President Ann Sorvari, at, or Acton-Boxborough International Projects Chair Palma Cicchetti at, or